Elitism Should be Sacrificed
In 1916, the men of Ireland, the bravest of Irish men, took on the might of the British Empire on the streets of Dublin. Had it not been for the divisive tactics of Eoin MacNeill it is safe to say that, whilst victory might still have been out of their grasp, the collective force that would have assembled would have caused more damage to the British Establishment in Ireland. This year marks the 97th Anniversary of the Rising.
In 3 years time, we will mark 100 years since the Proclaimation of the Irish Republic, the establishment of which we have yet to see realised. All over Ireland, Republicans assembled to commemorate the dead, those who found victory in their defeat. Those who stood bravely against tyranny, and lost physically, but achieved immortality in the psyche of the Irish people, in the annals of Ireland's history.
One remarkable aspect of the Republican Rising of 1916 was how it had managed to foster the appetite of all the Irish people for freedom and helped to create a cross section in which Republicanism could thrive. Much like any art form, it's greatest manifestation came in hindsight.
The greatest victory of the men of 16 was the unity that came over the course of that week. Connolly and the ICA stood shoulder to shoulder with the IRB and the Irish volunteers. The common enemy transcended the conflicts which had kept Republicanism disjointed and had rendered it mere folly.
Much of this credit must be given to the work of the IRB. The egalitarian set up became one of the key features of the IRA from 1917 to 1921. Since the split of '22, we have yet to see an organisation create such egalitarian unity.
The proof of this point came on the streets of Ireland at yesterday. Over the island, Republicans gathered to remember the sacrifice of these men, and every Irish man, woman or child who died fighting to achieve Irish liberation. Many parties and groups chose to hold their own functions. But how fitting is it to hold seperate functions?
Whilst I have not read each of the singular Republican groupings Easter speeches, much is my apathy towards the internecine "Cold War" fueding between republicans in this day and age, I can guarantee that like every year, there will be a call for Republican unity. There is always a call for Unity. However, its becoming more and more clear that the words mean nothing. Egos, personality clashes and animosity between individuals have rendered the concept of Republican unity moribund.
In 2016, it would be a fitting tribute to the men of the Rising for all the groups to come together under the banner of their name and commemorate the proclamation. Much like how in the years leading to the Rising, we should be able to put aside animosities and come together, not to score political points, not to create an image to garner fear and respect from the Irish people. Much like in '16, elitism should be sacrificed for egality, fueding for fraternity, stupidity for solidarity.
Surely, we can put aside our small differences in the name of our massive common ground. Surely.